Wassamadda? is a driving modal tune that, after the intro, starts out by setting six-beat melodic phrases against a seven-beat bass tumbao, moving all parts into 4/4 for the last eight bars of the form. For the solos, everyone is solidly in 7/4 and 4/4, except when the time temporarily evaporates at the start of the piano solo. (JD) Deme su Ritmo is a composition in the tradition of Latin jazz that combines a Cuban mambo rhythm with a jazz form - the AABA song form known as "rhythm changes" (based on George Gershwin's I Got Rhythm). Notable among the solo choruses is that of Lynn Colwell, who is as fine a euphonium player as he is a bassist. (KG) Climbing Sun is an Afro-Cuban 6/8 tune that opens with the bass, with layers gradually added through the piano and alto sax solos. The melody is played only once, at the end. Based on the changes of Cherokee, I give a nod to an ancestral family name: Climenson, which may be an Americanized version of the more native and spiritual 'Climbing Sun.' (NB) Where Do I Begin? (For Jessica) A father thinks of many things to tell his daughter when she is ready to step out on her own. This piece is a gift to my daughter with the hope that it can express her father's fears and hopes more clearly than his words. It was written to feature Bruce because he was Jessica's trumpet teacher for many years. (JP) I've Almost Got It makes another nod to I Got Rhythm. Fragments of Gershwin's tune are hinted at in the opening piano montuno and in several phrases of the melody. Harmonically, the tune explores the dual nature of c-minor as ii in B-flat and as a minor tonic. Only at the end do we finally hear the B-flat major of Gershwin's original. (JD) Urban Renewal is a 6/8 Afro-Cuban minor blues with an unusual turnaround that reflects harmonically the last phrase of the melodic line. After the cascading intro, the tune features many three-against-two patterns set either on the beat or shifted by one eighth-note. After the horn and piano solos, the percussion section is featured. (JD) Siete para Tito pays tribute to the late mambo legend Tito Puente. The arrangement is a mambo style blues form, with a twist - the entire tune is in seven. We hear a brief bongo ride while the band salutes Puente with the words, "Siete para Tito Puente - el rey del timbal" ("seven for Tito Puente - the king of timbal"). (KG) Each Day takes us stylistically as close as we get to the music of Brazil on this recording, but with a more traditionally Cuban bass tumbao. Perhaps inspired in part by the one-part forms of several of Chopin's piano Preludes, this tune is built on a chromatically descending bass line, with free melodic interludes at the middle and end of the form. (JD) Cortando el Pasto means 'mowing the lawn'. This tune was actually composed while I was - that's right - mowing my lawn. The groove and chord changes started going through my mind, and then some horn riffs. Later that evening, I asked one of my neighbors (originally from Mexico) how to say various phrases in Spanish. You have the result! (BK) Only Some of the Things draws once again from the jazz standards repertory, this time Jerome Kern's All the Things You Are. Appropriately, not all of the chord changes of Kern's original tune are preserved. This one is a mostly straight-ahead samba, with just a bit of three-against-four cross-meter in the bridge. (JD) ____________ Ned Boyd, alto saxophone Ned Boyd is a Band Director in Lafayette, IN. and he teaches saxophone at Purdue University. He holds degrees from North Carolina School of the Arts and Eastman School of Music. Ned performs with regional and national acts, such as the Four Tops, the Temptations and the Buselli/Wallarab Jazz Orchestra. Bruce Knepper, trumpet and flugelhorn Originally from Logansport, Indiana, Bruce Knepper holds a B.M.E. from Valparaiso University and a M.M. from Indiana University. He teaches for the Lafayette School Corporation in Lafayette, IN. He enjoys spending time with his wife Kelley, and son Kyle, and is the music director at his church in Logansport. Greg Wiesman, trombone Greg Wiesman joined Los Blancos in 1998 after getting to know several of the band members through playing in the Purdue University Jazz Band. He works in Indianapolis as a chemical engineer in the pharmaceutical industry and is a volunteer trombone instructor for youth at a community center. Judd Danby, piano Judd Danby composes contemporary concert music in addition to writing jazz, and through both he explores how we shape our experience of time in music. He teaches theory, composition, jazz improvisation and piano at the Arts & Communications Academy at Jefferson High School in Lafayette, IN, and jazz piano at Purdue University. Lynn Colwell, bass and euphonium Lynn Colwell, co-founder of Los Blancos Latin Jazz Band, is a freelance teacher and performer in the Lafayette, IN area. He is heard on this project playing acoustic bass and euphonium, but also teaches and plays tuba, bass trombone, electric bass, and five-string banjo. Kurt Gartner, congas, timbales and bongos Kurt Gartner has maintained an eclectic career as a percussionist. He performs, tours, and records as a jazz drummer, orchestral percussionist, and conguero. Gartner became interested in the serious study of Cuban music in the late 1980s, culminating in multiple visits to Havana. He co-founded Los Blancos with bassist Lynn Colwell. Roger Hoover, congas and guiro Roger Hoover spent a year of high school in Chile, beginning a long interest in Latin American music, languages, dance and cultures. He began playing with Los Blancos while at Purdue University, studying percussion under Kurt Gartner. He lives in San Mateo, California where he works as a software architect. Jeff Parthun, drumset, timbales and toys Jeff Parthun lives and works in Lafayette, IN, where he is a band director and percussionist. He holds music degrees from Northwestern University and Butler University. He is an active composer, arranger, performer, clinician and adjudicator. ____________ Los Blancos Latin Jazz Band creates a sophisticated and high-energy sound with it's innovative fusion of elements of the Afro-Cuban tradition with contemporary jazz harmonies and adventurous rhythms. This blend takes the listener on a journey from the drum circles on the streets of Havana to the jazz clubs of New York. Los Blancos have a large and loyal following in the greater Lafayette, Indiana, area, where they've performed at the Lafayette Brewing Company, the Taste of Tippecanoe and the Riverfront Jazz & Blues Festival. The band was founded in 1996, when percussionist Kurt Gartner and bassist Lynn Colwell, inspired by a series of concerts by Poncho Sanchez and Tito Puente, began jamming together on Latin grooves. Soon the band included the three-horn section of trumpeter Bruce Knepper, saxophonist Ned Boyd and trombonist Greg Wiesman, along with rhythm section members pianist Brad Whitely and percussionists Roger Hoover and Jeff Parthun. After three short years of performing and building repertoire, Los Blancos recorded it's first CD, ¡Échale Salsa!, in 1999. That recording featured arrangements of Latin-jazz classics by Tito Puente and Ray Barretto, along with arrangements of jazz classics by Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and Horace Silver. Los Blancos' next recording project came in 2006, several years after pianist Brad Whitely had moved away and the seat was filled by composer and pianist Judd Danby. The CD, entitled Receta Original, features original compositions by five of the group's members, including a number of works that seamlessly blend elements of the Afro-Cuban tradition with distinctive musical forms and non-traditional rhythms and shifting meters. Don Seybold, host of Inside Jazz on radio station WBAA Public Radio from Purdue University, says of Receta Original: It is a marvelous piece of work in every way. Well produced and recorded and exceptionally well played. I was really taken with the inventiveness, infectiousness, originality and creativity and depth of the work throughout, in every composition and from every composer. This is an exceptional piece of work by any measure and any standard. I love the album and it is playing as I write this and will be playing on my CD player at home, at my office, and on my show frequently. Greg Carroll, Executive Director of the American Jazz Museum, had this to say when he reviewed Receta Original for the liner notes: Receta Original by Los Blancos represents many great things about the fusion of jazz and Latin music and it's accessibility. After listening to this project, it occurred to me that while none of the practitioners have family ties to Cuba or Africa, their music wonderfully pays respect to the great traditions of Afro-Cuban music. The success of this project also speaks to the accessibility of this great music we call jazz. Los Blancos epitomizes the notion that jazz-and furthermore, Latin-jazz-is for everyone. With proper education (through listening, good musical investigation, and practice), jazz can be practiced by and enjoyed by a rainbow of folk. I commend Los Blancos for being part of that rainbow of practitioners and allowing me to be the beneficiary of their efforts. The project really grooves guys. ¡Felicidades en tu proyecto! ... ¡Sigue la musica!